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Students show off new Rincon Elementary School
Ann Daniel, a Rincon City Council member, chats with tour guides Jayla Kendrick (center) and Ayani Robinson on Sunday. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON — Their jitters have worn off but their love and appreciation haven’t.

Fifth graders Ayani Robinson and Jayla Kendrick are still in love with the new Rincon Elementary School on Fort Howard Road that opened in August. They and several other students led a tour through the $21 million facility during a grand opening Sunday afternoon.

Ann Daniel, a Rincon City Council member, peppered Robinson and Kendrick with questions while examining one wing of the airy structure. Between queries, she complimented student artwork displayed on hallway walls.

“This school is more spacious (than the one it replaced),” Robinson said.

“The gym is bigger than the one at the old school,” Kendrick added.

The new 142,000-square-foot building boasts 72 classrooms and can house 1,200 students, giving it plenty of room for growth. The current enrollment is just shy of 1,000.

“We have a few extra desks in our classes,” Robinson said.

The students admitted to being nervous about negotiating their way through the new building on the first day of school. 

“I got lost on the first day, and probably the second,” Robinson said.

“That’s not too bad,” Daniel said sympathetically before praising her and Kendrick for their guiding skills.

Fifth-grader Lyndsey Schandolph didn’t have much of an adjustment period. Her mother, Shannon, is a teacher at the school and they visited it regularly during construction. 

The Schandolphs live right across the street. Some days, they go to school in a golf cart.

“It’s definitely different,” Lyndsey said, “but I like it.”